Are you thinking of owning a Samoyed but you suffer from allergies, then you've probably heard that Samoyeds are hypoallergenic! But are they really?

Let's break it down and see if the hypoallergenic Samoyed is real or just a myth.

What causes allergies?

Allergies are a disorder of the immune system whereby an immune response is triggered unnecessarily. It's a bit like your body going into defensive mode in order to fight off some kind of a germ or bug, except that it's actually a false alarm.

Woman having an allergic reaction

When it happens your body releases histamine which causes contraction of smooth muscle and dilation of capillaries. This is what causes swelling around the eyes or skin hives.

The most common type of allergy you might be familiar with is hayfever.

And what do we do when we have a bout of hayfever? We take antihistamine to reduce the severity of our body's allergic response.

Why do animals trigger allergies?

Animals trigger an allergic response in some people because they produce something called dander. 

Dander is a somewhat loose term (similar to dandruff) which refers to the sometimes microsopic amounts of skin, fur, saliva, and urine which shed from a variety of animals.

Microscopic dog dander

In reality dogs, cats, birds, people and pretty much anything which has fur, hair, or feathers produces some level of dander which has the potential to trigger an allergic response.

Why does dander trigger an allergic reaction?

Simply put, the proteins which a found in dander are the cause of most allergic reactions relating to animals.

In addition the dander can also collect pollen and other common allergens triggering allergic responses in some people.

Do Samoyed's produce dander?

Yes! Samoyeds just like any other animal produce dander, it's just that they produce less dander which means they are less likely to stimulate an allergic reaction in those who typically react to pets.

Minimising allerigic reactions

Contrary to what some people think, the likelyhood of a pet to trigger an allergic reaction has nothing to do with the length or volume of their fur.

Shaving your dog or cat will not help in reducing the amount of dander they produce, or a persons tendency to experience allergic reactions.

The best way to reduce allergic reactions to your pet is to minimise the amount of dander you encounter when you're around them.

Regular washing and brushing

Samoyed in the bathWashing your pet regularly will reduce the amount of dander which is shed from their body on a day to day basis.

Regular brushing will also mean that their coat hold less dander to trigger your immune system!

Check out our Samoyed grooming tutorial if you need some help in this area.

The best way to reduce allergic reactions to your pet is to minimise the amount of dander you encounter when you're around them.

Clean household surfaces

Clean the areas of your house which are most likely to harbour allergens such as carpet, furniture upholstery, and bedding.

Filter out allergens

Ensure your air conditioning system has a HEPA filter and is regularly cleaned to stop dander, pollens, and spores from circulating through your house.

If you don't have an AC unit in your home then you can purchase a stand-alone air purifier with a HEPA filter which will actively clean the air and assist in reducing allergic reactions.

Summary

Technically speaking Samoyeds are not hypoallergenic because they produce dander, but due to the fact that they tend to produce less dander than most other dogs, they are often less likely to trigger allergic responses from people who are sensitive to animal dander.

Is a Samoyed right for you? The easiest way to find out is to go and hang out with a Samoyed and see how your body reacts. 

Take some antihistamine just in case you do still have an allergic response to the Sammy when you meet them, but all things going well you may find that you don't have any reaction to all that beautiful fluffy fur!

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